Technology: The CrashPlan Backup Service Entered The Stopped State

I recently had a problem with the CrashPlan backup service. If you are not familiar with CrashPlan, it’s an online backup service like Mozy and Carbonite. Read CrashPlan and Why The Cloud Makes Sense to learn more about the service.

"I'm trying to back it up, but I can't find reverse."

The problem I encountered is the CrashPlan Windows service keeps stopping and restarting. This has been going on for weeks now. I reinstalled CrashPlan multiple times. I even reinstalled to a different path (on the same computer) to see if that would make a difference. It didn’t. So last night I decided to build a new Windows XP virtual machine dedicated to CrashPlan. I should note that I backup network drives, which is why I’m able to build a dedicated CrashPlan server. Normally CrashPlan runs on the same computer where your data exists. After building the dedicated CrashPlan virtual machine everything seemed fine at first but after a few hours, guess what? Yup, another crash. At least CrashPlan was living up to one half of its name.

After hours of troubleshooting I finally stumbled onto a fix and I thought I would share it since it wasn’t easy to find. Turns out the CrashPlan service is limited to 512MB of memory. It won’t use more than that even if it needs it and the computer has it. When it hits the limit it crashes. Luckily there is an easy fix which I’ve outlined below.

Are you seeing the below message in the System Event Viewer repeatedly?

Event Type: Information
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 7036
Date: 6/12/2012
Time: 4:18:59 PM
User: N/A
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state”

If you are seeing the above message and/or the CrashPlan program and System Tray icon are disappearing in the middle of a backup then follow the steps below to increase the amount of memory that the CrashPlan service is allowed to use.

1. Stop the CrashPlan service. On most Windows computers this is in the Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services
2. Open Windows Explorer and browse to C:\Program Files\CrashPlan and double-click the CrashPlanService.ini file
3. Look for the following setting: Xmx512M
4. Change Xmx512M to Xmx1024M (This will increase the amount of memory that CrashPlan can use from 512MB to 1024MB. Make sure your computer has enough memory before you make this change.)
5. Save the file
6. Start the CrashPlan service
7. If you still have the problem change the setting to a higher value. You should be able to increase it to 2048 on 32-bit systems although it might be possible to go higher, especially on 64-bit systems.

For comparison sake, I’m backing up 2.7TB of data to CrashPlan. I think this memory problem is likely due to the amount of data being backed up. If you are backing up even more data you might need to give the CrashPlan service even more memory.

It’s unfortunate that CrashPlan hard codes a limit of 512MB by default. I know the average CrashPlan user is probably not backing up multiple terabytes of data but they should have planned for this problem. Again, only living up to one half of their name.